Tuesday, 27 December 2016

No help for me as I'm an Indian, says abducted Keralite priest in video

For the latest updates, visit #2016YemenAttack
No help for me as I'm an Indian, says abducted Keralite priest in video...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/keralite-priest-father-tom-uzhunnalil-appeals-indian-govt.html
No help for me as I'm an Indian, says abducted Keralite priest in video...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/keralite-priest-father-tom-uzhunnalil-appeals-indian-govt.html
No help for me as I'm an Indian, says abducted Keralite priest in video...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/keralite-priest-father-tom-uzhunnalil-appeals-indian-govt.html
No help for me as I'm an Indian, says abducted Keralite priest in video Monday 26 December 2016 08:...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/keralite-priest-father-tom-uzhunnalil-appeals-indian-govt.html

For the latest updates, visit #2016YemenAttack

Abducted Kerala priest appeals Pope, Centre to secure his release

Updated: Dec 26, 2016, 05.41 PM IST



KOCHI: An Indian Catholic priest abducted from Yemen this year appealed to Pope Francis and the Union government through a purported video to secure his release from his captors.

"If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously. I am from India. I am perhaps not considered as of much value," said priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil in a weak voice in the video, aired by news channels in Kerala.

"Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating," he said in the video, a day after Christmas.

Father Uzhunnalil, who looked very weak, appeared to be reading out from a text placed before him.

The veracity of the video, which was uploaded from You tube and Facebook, could neither be independently verified nor was the period when it was shot known.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by terror group Islamic State which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden.

He claimed his captors have made many contacts with the government of India-- President and Prime Minister.

"I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard," he said.

He said reports had said everything has been done to get his release, "but in reality nothing" has been done.

Father Uzhunnalil said a news reporter abducted in the Middle East was released as she was from France.




"I am from India and not considered. Dear people, I pray you all, ask you all, beg you all to do your might to help me to save my life. I need hospitalisation soon. Please come to my help quickly," he said.

The Union Government has said efforts are being made to secure Uzhunnalil's release, but such attempts take time.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had informed Parliament that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has spoken to various countries through which contacts can be established in Yemen.

Swaraj had said it takes more time to secure release of people who are held captive and asked the MPs to keep "faith" in government's efforts to trace the abducted priest.

Govt won’t spare any effort to secure Father Tom’s release: Sushma Swaraj

Updated: December 27, 2016 10:23 am


Responding to a plea by Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest under Islamic State’s captivity in Yemen, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday asserted that the government won’t spare any effort to secure the former’s release. “I have seen the video from Fr Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us. We got Fr Alex Prem Kumar and Judith D’Souza released from Afghanistan. We have spared no effort and we will spare no effort to secure Fr Tom’s release from captivity,” Sushma tweeted.

Father Tom, who hails from Kerala and works in a Church at Aden, in a video posted through web, appealed to the Government of India to release from his captors. “President and Prime Minister, I am sad nothing done seriously in my regard. If I was a European priest then I might have been taken more seriously by authorities and people would have got me released,” he said.

“I am from India and therefore I am perhaps not considered of much value, I’m sad. Dear Pope Francis, please take care of my life. I request my fellow human beings of different Governments to come forward and help me,” he added.
The video was posted on social media platforms yesterday, however, the veracity of the video couldn’t be independently verified. Father Tom was abducted by the terror group when it attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Aden in March. In Yemen, the fighting is going on with no central authority there.

UAE church 'working' for release of abducted Indian priest

Dec 30, 2016, 10.08 PM IST

DUBAI: A vicar in the UAE has said he has got "strong indications" to believe that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest who was abducted nearly nine months ago from war-torn Yemen, is alive, a media report said on Friday. The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia said it is making "all efforts to secure a safe release" of the priest kidnapped from Aden in March, Khaleej Times reported.

A video of Uzhunnalil had surfaced this week in which he made an appeal to the Indian government, Pope Francis and Bishop Paul Hinder, to save his life. Hinder, who is based in Abu Dhabi, is the current Vicar Apostolic of the vicariate.

"The features of the person speaking in the video bear a close likeness to Father Tom. However, the source of the video, the date of its creation and the circumstances under which it was recorded are unknown. Even though we have no information about Father Tom's present whereabouts, we have strong indications to believe that he is still alive," the vicariate said in a statement. The church said it has made countless appeals from the highest levels to secure Uzhunnalil's release as well as made concrete efforts by way of working in close collaboration with both international and local diplomatic channels, it reported.

"Paul Hinder is in touch with the different channels, which are working and leading the dialogues to secure a safe release. More details cannot be disclosed at this stage," the statement said. The bishop has led calls for prayer throughout the churches in the vicariate for Uzhunnalil. During the Christmas mass, the bishop and thousands gathered at the cathedral parish of St Joseph's Abu Dhabi to pray for the priest's safety. "The Salesian Congregation to which Father Tom belongs and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India has been in touch with government channels," the statement added.
Fr Tom Uzhunnalil was asked not to go to Yemen: center...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.html
Fr Tom Uzhunnalil was asked not to go to Yemen: center...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.html

Fr Tom Uzhunnalil was asked not to go to Yemen: center...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.html
Fr Tom Uzhunnalil was asked not to go to Yemen: center...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.html
Fr Tom Uzhunnalil was asked not to go to Yemen: center...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.html
Minister of state for external affairs M.J. Akbar Wednesday said that the central government had ins...

Read more at: http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/fr-tom-uzhunnalil-yemen-govt-instructions-mj-akbar.htmlMinister of state for external affairs M.J. Akbar Wednesday said that the central government had ins...
Minister of state for external affairs M.J. Akbar Wednesday said that the central government had instructed Kerala priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped by terrorists in Yemen, to not go to that country. “Fr Uzhunnalil went to Yemen ignoring the government's instructions. We are yet to find out where he is and the efforts to rescue him are continuing,” Akbar told media.
“He might not have noticed our efforts to save him and that could have made him criticize the government,” the minister added.

Kids Write To PM Modi For Kidnapped Father Tom Uzhunnalil's Release

Updated: February 13, 2017 

Thiruvananthapuram:  Sixty tiny tots, dressed as infant Jesus, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for the early release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Keralite priest who was kidnapped in Yemen last year by suspected ISIS militants.

The children, aged between four and five, belonging to the Sacred Heart Church at Kumbalangi near Kochi, handed over the letters written in Hindi, English and Malayalam to Ernakulam MP, Professor K V Thomas, who was present at the function. The children were helped by their parents and priests in writing the letters, a church source said. Thomas said he would hand over the letters to the Prime Minister as early as possible.

"I am planning to go to Delhi on Tuesday night and will try to get Mr Modi's appointment either on Wednesday or Friday," he said. "Parish priest and 20 other members are also coming to Delhi and we will try to meet the Prime Minister on Wednesday or Friday," he added

Editor's Note: Right-wing publication Swarajya Magazine has published an article criticising the church. Although it's controversial, a link to has been provided for the sake of inclusiveness.

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